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Nation

Death toll in Maguindanao road crash climbs to 7

John Unson - The Philippine Star

COTABATO City, Philippines - One more passenger injured in Tuesday’s deadly collision between a Toyota Innova and a hauler truck in Parang, Maguindanao died Wednesday dawn while undergoing medication, bringing to seven the number of the fatalities in the accident.

Senior Inspector Harry Gubat, chief of the Parang municipal police, said investigators have established that it was the smaller, wayward Innova that hit head-on the truck approaching from the opposite direction of the Parang-Cotabato Highway in Barangay Landasan.

“The Innova crossed the lane and collided with the hauler truck coming from the opposite direction. We’re still winding up with our investigation. Our investigators are still to establish contact with the owners of the two vehicles,” Gubat told reporters.

Gubat said the ill-fated Innova could have been used as “passenger vehicle” since its passengers have different addresses, mostly unknown to each other.

“We still have to check if it was registered as passenger vehicle or as a private vehicle,” Gubat pointed out.

Among the seven fatalities in the accident was the driver of the Innova, Mubarak Maruhom, who was an ethnic Maranaw.

Apart from Maruhom, four others were also killed instantly, while another died while being rushed to a hospital in the city.

Six injured passengers are now confined at the Cotabato Regional Medical Center.

Felix Galang, driver of the truck that figured in the accident, said he his best to avoid hitting the other vehicle that crossed the lane in high speed, but failed since there was not much space to maneuver the truck away from the path of the Innova.

“I just don’t know if the driver of the Innova fell asleep while driving,” said Galang, who is now in the custody of the Parang municipal police.

Galang said he immediately reported the accident to a nearby police detachment, where he voluntarily turned over his driver’s license and the registration documents of his truck.

The Innova was en route to Cotabato City from Malabang, a coastal town in Lanao del Sur.

Galang said he was on his way to Parang from Sultan Kudarat town, where he delivered corn grains to a local cornstarch factory.

“My truck was in good condition, brakes were working fine at the time of the accident," Galang said in Filipino.

He said his truck is owned by an entrepreneur in Parang, whose name he declined to reveal pending a meeting with the investigators.

BARANGAY LANDASAN

COTABATO CITY

COTABATO REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER

FELIX GALANG

GALANG

INNOVA

MUBARAK MARUHOM

PARANG-COTABATO HIGHWAY

SENIOR INSPECTOR HARRY GUBAT

TRUCK

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